You are here
Home > Community > Diabetes program renewed through Jan. 19

Diabetes program renewed through Jan. 19

SDPI was renewed through Jan. 19. (Facebook)

The U.S. Senate passed a funding bill Nov. 15 to avoid a government shutdown that was to take effect two days later. The measure extended the Indian Health Services’ (IHS) Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) through Jan. 19; it had expired Sept. 30. The program was established by Congress in 1997 and is typically funded on an annual basis.

SDPI helps keep type-2 diabetes intervention and prevention programs running in Native communities. The program has helped increase the number of on-site nutrition services and the number of physical activity and weight management specialists and sites for adults and youth.

The Seminole Tribe has received SDPI funds for many years. It is used for a variety of diabetes prevention and mitigation programs through the Integrative Health program, part of the tribe’s Health and Human Services Department.

Even after decades of flat funding, Indian Country officials say SDPI has been very effective in strengthening community-based diabetes prevention programs. Native American communities have traditionally experienced higher numbers of type-2 diabetics compared to other populations.

“ … SDPI has become the nation’s most effective federal initiative to combat diabetes and serves as a useful model both for diabetes programs nationwide and public

health programs in Indian Country,” Navajo Nation president Buu Nygren said in congressional testimony last summer.

SDPI is currently funded through mandatory appropriations at $150 million per year – the same amount for the past two decades. Tribal officials say the appropriation should be $250 million in order to be adequately funded.

“While type-2 diabetes continues to impact our people at alarming rates, there is hope. Thanks to the impact of SDPI, we have increased nutrition counseling and patient interventions to help them treat or even reverse type-2 diabetes,” Nygren said in his testimony. It was unclear at press time how the program would be funded after Jan. 19.